$46M spent on failed Calif. global warming measure

Don Thompson
Huffington Post/AP

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — More than $46 million was spent for and against a failed November ballot measure that would have suspended California’s landmark global warming law, according to campaign finance reports filed Monday.

Out-of-state oil companies and their supporters spent $10.5 million promoting Proposition 23, while opponents spent more than $36 million.

The initiative would have suspended the state’s 2006 greenhouse gas reduction goals until California’s unemployment rate, now 12.5 percent, drops to 5.5 percent and holds there for a year. That has occurred just three times in three decades.

Voters defeated Proposition 23 by a margin of 61.6 percent to 38.4 percent.

The initiative seeking to undo California’s global warming law was one of nine propositions on the November ballot, which also included a failed initiative seeking to legalize recreational use of marijuana. Supporters and opponents for all propositions faced a Monday deadline to file their final fundraising and spending reports.

Opponents of the global warming initiative were able to entice support from big business, venture capitalists, environmental groups and Hollywood notables such as movie director James Cameron by turning the petroleum industry into a villain, said Bill Day, spokesman for Valero Corp. The Texas-based company contributed more than $5 million to the campaign.

The oil companies and their supporters argued that the law will drive businesses out of state and should be delayed until the economy improves.

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